Following Damian Thompson's piece today
on Pope Francis's pastoral phone call response to a lady in a second marriage with a divorcee which then made it into Facebook and soon the World press, one wonders quite what the sensible Catholic reaction should be.
Has the time come to live in my allotment on Whitehawk Hill in order to wait for the Second Coming after, of course, having exchanged the words 'Cardinal Kasper' with 'Pope Francis' in my sidebar poll?
In the unlikely scenario that Pope Francis has said something that completely contradicts the Church's Infallible teaching, a great theological conundrum erupts in which we ask whether it is possible that a Pope can not be in communion with the Pope.
I guess that's not impossible, in certain circumstances. Of course, that would be a can of worms so full of worms that all the worms in my allotment could not quite do it justice. So, I'm not going to go there, yet.
The Holy Father's phone calls have quickly become the stuff of legend. It's a shame reporters and bloggers such as Mr Thompson cannot simply pick up the phone and call His Holiness in order to get that much needed clarification that Fr Frederico Lombardi will most likely refuse. Remember, that even in 'being pastoral' a Pope, who can never simply be 'Father Bergoglio' again (because he's the Pope) cannot really make a statement concerning one individual that does not then become something that is universal. God has not made exceptions to divine law.
Clearly, whatever the truth of the matter, someone is doing his level best in undermining of the Magisterium and the Office of the Papacy on purpose. The question remains whether that person is one of the Pope's enemies, or one of his friends, or the Pope himself, or even all three.
If this teaching 'changes' through pastoral chats with dissident Bishops and Priests (and Popes) who simply say, 'just do whatever you feel is fine by me' because of what a schizophrenic 'Father Bergoglio' says in his private capacity as a dissident priest in Rome, when he says he knows what the Pope says as a priest I say something else, then we are at a real crossroads in the Church's history the likes of which neither the World nor the Church has ever before seen. With two Popes living in the Vatican, we thought it could not get any more weird. Perhaps we were wrong. Watch, once more, what Benedict XVI had to say about the Church as a divine institution that does not simply sway with the times in his farewell address because it is truly Christ's Body. I certainly think it has some relevance to the new theories being posited about 'being Church'.
I also think its a bit awfully timed that this news came out when we should be feasting and partying, rather than weeping, fasting and beating our breasts in sackcloth and ashes. Try not to let His Holiness (or his friends or enemies or those who claim to have chatted with him on the phone) spoil your celebrations. So if you are a faithful Catholic and you feel a bit like you've been stabbed in the heart on Easter Wednesday. Don't stop believing and keep on partying. The gates of Hell shall never prevail. Perhaps we should heed the advice of the Supreme Pontiff not to listen to gossip. In which case, Damian and others carrying this disconcerting story will have done us no service at all. Still, as Damian updates his blog, is the Vatican going to say it cannot clarify under some kind of 'Data Protection Act'
? If this story goes off like a Supervolcano, the Vatican press office will have themselves, if not also their 'boss' to blame. It is worth noting that there have been very few occasions on which His Holiness, who asked us to pray for him that he wouldn't 'make too many mistakes', has actually apologised for confusion he has caused.
Continue to pray for the Popes. I say that not just because we have two living Popes in the Vatican, but because this Pope has the potential make Popes of us all.
"Hello? Father Bergoglio? What an unexpected call! Well I never! How did you get my number?"